Thursday, March 08, 2012

Manning Centre for Building Conservatism 2012

The Manning Centre For Building Democracy 2012, billed as a "Conservative Family Reunion", kicks off its 3-day getting Conservatives elected convention today. 

At left is the first graduating class of the Manning Centre's Executive Program in Political Management at the Future Leaders Series dinner in 2007.

At their 2008 convention, a campaign activism session for young organizers was jointly held by RMG  Responsive Marketing Group CEO Michael Davis; Richard Ciano, eventual co-founder of Campaign Research Inc with Nick Kouvalis, and now President of the Con Party of Ontario; and Mark Spiro of Crestview Public Affairs and the Cons' 2007-2011 election Target Seat Management Unit.

RMG CEO, future Campaign Research founder, and Steve's election target seat guy.
Small world, huh?

*Update from Beijing York in comments : Then the following year they gave RMG CEO Michael Davis their Pyramid Award for his GOTV and voter ID work*

"Preston Manning presented RMG with the Manning Centre Pyramid Award for Political Technology, recognizing RMG's role in helping to build the conservative movement in Canada. Since its inception, RMG has raised more than $75 million for right of centre causes in Canada, and helped to elect hundreds of 'right of centre' politicians at municipal, provincial and national levels."

Kouvalis and Ciano are back at the Manning Conference again this year - full three day schedule and roster of speakers here - despite being under industry investigation for their alleged misleading phone campaign against Lib MP Irwin Cotler. BC Premier Christy Clark will give the opening remarks tomorrow morning.

Three days ago, John Fryer, a member of the Order of Canada and an adjunct professor at UVic, wrote a letter to the G&M criticizing a local Manning Centre campaign manager training session he attended in 2010, organized by Campaign Research founder Ciano. 
Fryer : "Instructors made it clear that robo-calling and voter suppression were an acceptable and normal part of winning political campaigns."

Vancouver Observer has more background on the session from Fryer, plus a reaction from Campaign Research.

And here's a post I wrote in 2008 about the founding members of the Preston Manning Institute for Building Democracy.
Friday night update : Preston Manning condemns robocalls
Mr. Manning condemned the idea of campaigns using robo-calls to harass voters or divert them to the wrong polls.
“I've spent my life trying to get people to participate more in the political system and trying to vote more,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a conservative conference sponsored by his Manning Centre for Building Democracy.
“And the fact that there would be people out trying to work in the opposite direction is deplorable.”
and then they threw Stephen Maher, the reporter who broke the robocalls story along with Glen McGregor, out of the Manning Centre conference party.
Killer post from RossK.  Killer. Also Dave.
Go Beijing York! whose comments are usually better than my posts.


kootcoot said...

"BC Premier Christy Clark will give the opening remarks tomorrow morning."

I always knew the BC LIEberals weren't actually liberals anymore than the current so called "Tories" aren't really Conservatives, at least not in the John A, Dief, Clark or Stanfield sense. However for Christy to address this crowd of cro-magnon radical Canadian Taliban Separatists is almost too much to digest.........

deBeauxOs said...

Oh, I remember this photograph, the manner in which the two CON "ladies" book-end the boys.

Beijing York said...

Kootcoot, some of the names associated with the 2011 election fraud have strong ties to the BC Liberal Party, the Alberta Wildrose Party and the Ontario PC Party.

Davis of RMG won a prestigious Pyramid Award from the Manning Institute for GOTV and other election campaigning work.

I wonder if Preston Manning got some of this seed money from this group:

Waterworld said...

The increasing systematic frustration and perversion of democratic processes is truly troubling; we can expect Putin types to drive around busloads of repeat voters but here in Canada we are subjected to that plus other dirty tricks such as dissuading opponents from voting - and even worse: some or much of this is being organized with the help of taxpayer dollars! Is it too late to be stopped?

double nickel said...

Looks like a convention of funeral home directors.

K-Dawg said...

You do realize Fryer has retracted his comments and issued an apology, right?

double nickel said...

Wrong K-Dawg. Try reading the original aritlce and the "retraction" again.

Alison said...

March 8, 2012

Campaign Research

Attention : Aaron Wudrick

Dear Sir,

Re: John Fryer

I am writing, at your request, to state that my comments which have been published recently, were not intended to suggest that Mr. Kouvalis, Mr. Ciano, or Campaign Research provided, discussed or made suggestions to participants regarding any illegal or unethical tactics and apologize for any distress that has been caused to your clients.

Yours truly,
John L. Fryer

kootcoot said...

"Looks like a convention of funeral home directors."

And now they are presiding over the funeral of democracy in Canada!

Anonymous said...


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